Black voters tell ABC News they fear Democrats are taking them for granted.
By Will McDuffie, ABC News
PHILADELPHIA — Last weekend, John Fetterman, the Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate in Pennsylvania, spent the penultimate Saturday before Election Day traversing Philadelphia, dedicating the entire day to campaigning in the city with a vote share he should have little problem winning. Rich with Democrats, the City of Brotherly Love went to President Joe Biden by more than 60 points in 2020.
The investment in Pennsylvania’s largest city, where more than four in 10 residents identify as Black, reflects an urgency to energize urban Black voters in the final days of a campaign that could decide control of Congress’ upper chamber.
Black voters in the United States overwhelmingly vote for Democratic candidates, including Biden, who received more than 90% of their vote in 2020, according to a Pew post-election analysis.
But some Black leaders in Pennsylvania fear that Democrats are taking the community for granted, a concern expressed in past cycles across the country.
Over the course of seven stops, Fetterman appeared with local and national Black leaders, including New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker, state representative Malcolm Kenyatta, and Philadelphia City Council President Darrell Clarke. He visited Black faith leaders, spoke outside a West Philadelphia grocery store, and rallied in front of a few hundred students at Temple University.
“I think this is where the election is going to be won,” Kenyatta, who represents the majority-Black North Philadelphia district that includes Temple, said in an interview after joining Fetterman at the rally, which drew mostly white attendees.
Kadida Kenner, CEO of the New Pennsylvania Project, a voting rights organization that has registered 20,000 people across the state this year, stressed the importance of Fetterman turning out Black voters.
“No Democrat is going to win a statewide election in Pennsylvania without the Black vote,” Kenner told ABC News. “And the margin has to be run up in Philadelphia, it has to be run up in the [Philadelphia suburbs], and it has to be run up in Pittsburgh.”